By Julia Donaldson, illustrations by Axel Scheffler
A clever mouse invents a fearsome creature to protect himself from predators in the woods—but is the Gruffalo really imaginary?
Facts about “The Gruffalo”
The Gruffalo was first published in 1999 in the United Kingdom by Macmillan Children’s Books
It was written for children between the ages of three and seven. It is approx 700 words long. It is written in rhyming couplets and the verses are repetitive.
The story is based on a Chinese folk tale of a fox that borrows the terror of a tiger. Donaldson was unable to think of rhymes for “tiger” so instead she invented a word that rhymes with “know”
The Gruffalo won the gold award (in the 0–5 years category) of the 1999 Nestlé Smarties Book Prize.
It was the UK’s best-selling picture book of 2000.
In November 2009 the book was voted “best bedtime story” by listeners of BBC Radio 2.
In a 2010 survey by UK charity Booktime, the book came first in a list of children’s favourite books.
The Gruffalo has sold over 13 million copies in 58 editions worldwide.
The BBC made a film of The Gruffalo in 2009. (See video above.)